Japanese crypto-exchange operators unexpectedly faced major problems last year due to the unprecedented hack in late January of Tokyo-based Coincheck Inc., which lost digital tokens estimated at the time to be worth ¥58 billion and caused commotion across the industry.

This has prompted the country's regulatory watchdog to scrutinize exchange companies, which in turn led to the revelation that problematic operations were being conducted by many of them.

During 2018, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) did not approve any new exchange operators.